One feared dead in LeConte Glacier sightseeing crash


The United States Coast Guard and members of the Alaska State Troopers search and rescue team spent the better part of Tuesday evening at LeConte Glacier after a Pacific Wings Beaver aircraft out of Petersburg crashed, leaving one reported as dead.

The aircraft, which was carrying a pilot and six passengers, crashed at the glacier in the late afternoon of June 4 and was carrying sightseers, according to a statement by Coast Guard Sector Juneau.

Senior Chief Chad Mountcastle said the U.S. Coast Guard was working to mount a rescue operation at the glacier.

“Right now we have a helo there and are currently working with the Troopers to recover the individual there,” Mountcastle said. “Right now there are six confirmed that are okay, and one that is reported as deceased.”

Mountcastle, the command center supervisor for Coast Guard Sector Juneau, added that he did not know the name or age of the person reported killed in the crash.

“We don’t know who it is because right now we are in the middle of doing the transport of all the people back to Petersburg,” he added.

The Coast Guard is currently the only rescue team on-scene, with assistance from the AST, though other commercial helicopters were in the area according to Mountcastle.

“They were out there with us and helped us with locating, but we are the ones there and transporting them because we have hoisting capabilities,” Mountcastle said.

Representatives from Pacific Wings, as well as other carriers in the region, were not available for comment by press time.


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